The Journal of Critical Care, a medical publication of great respect, has recently published a report about the findings of specialists at the John Hopkins University that video games could be used as part of therapeutic use in physical therapy.
Assistant Professor of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation at the hospital, Dr. Michelle E. Kho says, “Patients admitted to our medical intensive care unit are very sick and, despite early physical therapy, still experience problems with muscle weakness, balance and coordination as they recover,”, and Dr. Kho continued, “We are always looking for creative ways to improve rehabilitation care for critically ill patients, and our study suggests that interactive video games may be a helpful addition.”
It took 22 critically ill patients of a study that allowed them to use interactive video games over a one year period. The games were part of their regularly prescribed physical therapy. They were part of a larger group, 410 patients that had their regular therapy. So the 22 were the experimental group. They used Nintendo Wii and Wii Fit video games. So far the results look promising and the low maintenance and low cost of using video game rehabilitation.
This is something that gamers may have known for some time but it’s going to take the medical community some time to do the science. As they progress in the studies we may find some astounding results that may just be an historic turn in video game history.